25 Years Ago

It seems like yesterday that Tom and I were camping with Tim, Michele and others in Yosemite the weekend he proposed. That was May, 1982, and we were married in November.
To mark the grand occasion, family members gave us a surprise party. Very special and wonderful to see everyone - people who have been there, every step of the way, encouraging and loving us.
The first 25 years have been great and I'm looking forward to the next quarter century....Happy Anniversary Tom - I love you!

*Note: My wedding dress is the first and last thing I created after taking a fashion design class at Sierra College. I learned that ready-made patterns are way easier and less time consuming. At least I can say I did it, and I loved my dress.


Which Stooge am I?

Yesterday, I noticed that my hair has finally started growing back. Perhaps the threat of shopping for a wig gave it the boost it needed. After inspecting it a little closer, I found that it didn't look like Curly's or Moe's, but most like Larry's. Apparently, it's only coming in on the sides, not the middle...kind of a reverse mohawk.
Larry, Moe, and Curly
I can start a new trend or stick with the plan of shopping for some fake hair. Are 'comb-overs' fashionable?


It's final!

On Tuesday, September 18, 2007, Cambelle legally became the third daughter of Brian and Liz, and baby sister to Ellie and Sierra. I'm sure, to them, it was just a formality that reinforced what was already in their hearts: Cambelle belonged to them from the moment she was born.



Often, while gardening, I'm reminded of God and His truths. Most of the time it has to do with weeds and sin. There's an unwanted wild shrub-type plant growing next to a rose bush, that's hard to get to. I just keep cutting it off close to the surface, and without fail, it comes back bigger and stronger than before. If I had only pulled it out by the root in the first place.
Recently, I checked out this plain looking shrub in my yard. On close inspection, it made me think of 1 Corinthians 13:12 - "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."
This is a glimpse of what this shrub will become. It shows me that I 'know in part'. In the coming weeks, this plant will be transformed into a glorious display of color, filling me with the hope of when I shall 'know fully, even as I am fully known.'


I need help telling lies?

Wouldn't this make a great Saturday Night Live skit? Can't you hear Gilda Radner (my all time favorite) saying, " Have you been too honest lately? Let FibRestore help you tell those little white lies, also known as fibs, with ease. Just two helpings a day can get you back on track to telling untruths again."
Terri's boyfriend, Gary, was sweet to give me a month's supply of this, and other nutritional supplemental drinks. He had heard some positive feedback about this product and wanted to share it with me. How kind is that? I'm not making fun of you, Gary, or this product. Actually, if you look closely, they have a line over the i. Maybe that's for the long vowel sound.
Anyway, made me laugh.


Way to go Naida!

Last weekend Naida participated in the triathlon in Lake of the Pines. She came in 3rd for her age group, 18-35 year olds. The swim was 1 mile. Hey, I think I see her in this picture....4th from the right, splashing.
Here she is coming in from her bike ride that was 5.6 hilly miles.
Can you believe she has a smile on her face after finishing the run that was 3.8 miles long?
I figure I completed my very own uni-thon of walking from the parking lot to the lake, and on to the finish line. Tom and Meredith competed right along with me, but I'm sure I came in first.


Humming for Hummus?

My family is the hummus eating type. I've tried different brands and the one I liked best, was discontinued. It's all about the texture - it can't be too smooth. This recipe is pretty tasty, but I'm always open for suggestions.

15 oz can garbanzos, drained
1/2 cup raw sesame seeds
1 T olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 clove garlic- pressed
salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a food processor until well blended and the consistency you want. The above is the original recipe, but I added 4 kalamata olives for a little extra flavor. Next time I may try black ones.


Family Reunion 2007

For at least twenty-two years, the Nunnink family has been reuniting for a weekend of camping and just plain old fun. It's been many places over the years (I don't think we're welcome back in the little town of Washington), but no matter where, we're just happy to be together.
The family has grown to 80+, and that includes Pa, his 12 children and their spouses, grandchildren and their families, and great grandchildren.
This year we went to Lodgepole Campground, off of Hwy 80, by Lake Valley Reservoir. Nice close spot for those who weren't able to stay the night.
Here's a picture of Lori, Bobby, and Ryan. They appear to be looking at her...she must have been entertaining the crowd with one of her many hilarious stories, some of which I shall not repeat. She has a great laugh...one which kept many of us awake one year in Caribou.
This is Brian and Ellie. It kinda looks like they're part of a traveling circus, but a very talented one.
Naida and Meredith did a little kayaking on the reservoir, as well as many other family members. I know I had a picture of Michele in one, but I think it's lost in my computer somewhere.
It was a great time, as usual, even though it was a smaller crowd. Looking forward to next year and you can bet I'll have my s'more goods ready.


She said yes!

My nephew Joe, Terri's son, has been planning to ask Brittani to marry him for some time. He knew all the special people he wanted to be on the backpack trip: Terri, Keith, Scott, John Paul, Lindsay, Jake, Patricia, Brittani, and himself. He purchased the ring and came upon this perfect accessory. He and Terri were shopping in Grass Valley when they spied this rock. The shop owners loved the story of how he was going to propose and gave it to him, if he promised to come back and tell her about it. They returned, brought pictures, and explained how he placed the rock on the ground (when it was just the two of them hiking) and told her to look for 'cool' rocks. She completely missed this one. He told her to go in the direction of 'the' rock. She didn't want to. Joe picked it up and said something like,"Look at this cool one."
I didn't get info on her complete response. Did she cry? Jump up and down? Ask what took him so long?
The area they backpacked is Grouse Ridge and the lucky spot is on the Black Buttes. That might be Glacier Lake in the background. He purposefully picked this spot since it was where he became a follower of Jesus.
I love this picture of the newly engaged Brittani - John Paul took it. Come October 2008, she will be known as Brittani Britton. Congratulations Joe and Brittani! I love you both.


Sandy Croft's Letter

Good News!

This in from Sandy,

I just got back to my hotel room. Lynne did wonderful! God did even better. The doctors were able to remove all the cancer, and they were able to avoid the very long surgery of 10 hrs. It took 5 instead. She will be in the hospital approximately 7 days and not 14. I'm truly happy. Lynne has been such a wonderful wife, amazing friend, and truly a special mother. I can't even imagine the world without her. Thanks for all your prayers, your thoughts, and your kindness these past weeks.



Remember Mr. and Mrs. Cookie?

Well, they just shared that they are expecting a little chocolate chip, er, I mean a baby! I am so excited for them. The two of them are so sweet, I know they'll make splendid parents.

Gretchen and Ryan Mack
Ryan has asked that we pray for Gretchen. She has a partially detached retina that requires surgery and, if at all possible, to postpone it until after the first trimester. They meet with the doctor in another week to see if it has gotten any worse. Pray for healing and a healthy baby. Congratulations you two! We're praying.

This from Ryan:
Good News, the doctor did laser surgery in his office yesterday to fix the problem, and no invasive surgery was required. We go back in a week to check it, so pray for that and for a fast recovery, but this is quite minor to what we had thought. Good stuff, God stuff.



Marching Orders

Throughout this last year, and then some, you all have shown me what dedicated prayer warriors you are. Daily I am comforted and rest in the assurance that God is in control of my life and knows what's best for me. This gives me such peace.
What I'm asking for, is prayer for our sister in Christ, Lynne Croft. She goes in for surgery early tomorrow morning, for a rare form of pancreatic cancer. Her daughter, Haily, told me today that the doctor is optimistic. I'm guessing that means that they feel that they can get it all.
Pray that she will be comforted, and not fear, and that she will know that Jesus is more than enough for her, no matter what. She may be in the hospital for up to two weeks after, so continue going before the throne on her behalf. God bless you all.


Nevada County Fair

This is one pack of excited fair goers. Got a picture before the festivities began, and I must say, they kept up the pace for the majority of the day.

Shannon, Ally, Madie, Madeline, Jackie, Meredith, Chelsea
Remember my big, overconfident post on a surefire win on the HUGE weed? Wrong. The large one on the left, is the weed I entered for my neighbor. (It was on HER property, after all.) It's taller than the garage door. I personally thought it should have received a first, due to the multiple heads, but there were two taller weeds. My wimpy one was tied to Miss Shelly's that didn't win either. Why didn't they just put up a neon sign that said 'Losers'?
Here's the proof. Laurie's very excited. Since 1st place pays $5.00, do you think she'll share her 3rd winnings with me?
And now for the food reviews. Sorry, no pictures. I must have been too busy eating. For starters, I had a baked potato, with everything, for lunch. I think that was my favorite. Next, for a little snack, I HAD to have a Cinnamon Roll with frosting, no nuts. I don't remember having one for a number of years. I think that was my favorite. For my dessert after my roll (an hour or two later), I had to have a swirl cone from the fire department. Collin's friend, Owen, made a record size one for me that required a bowl and spoon. I think that was my favorite. Finally, for dinner, I had two tacos and a Pepsi. Delicious. That maybe was my favorite. Do the calories count from Meredith's cotton candy that I only had a taste of, or a bite of her chocolate dipped cone? I didn't think so.

*Many thanks to Michele to keeping track of the girls and shuffling them around, while I planned my next eating opportunity.


Lunch with Emma.

For those of you that don't know, this is Emma (what you can see of her). Look at those beautiful smiling eyes! She has been in town, visiting for a bit and we were able to get together for lunch and do some catching up.
We went to Sopa's downtown Nevada City. I had only been there once and didn't really love what I had eaten. I let her do all the ordering since she is a Thai connoisseur. Am I ever glad I did! Feast your eyes on the Fresh Spring Rolls and the Chicken Satay.
We also had Boat Noodle Soup and Yellow Curry Vegetables over rice. This Thai Tea Ice-cream was the perfect ending to such a DELICIOUS meal.

She has convinced me to try Vietnamese next - says that there's a place in Auburn that's good. Maybe next time she's here, we'll go out again. This time on me. Thanks again Emma for lunch, but most of all, for your precious friendship.


Ryan's Famous Recipe

Well, here you have it. See these bundles of sweetness? I only have Ryan to blame...or maybe his lovely wife, Gretchen, for divulging his secret recipe. How can I stop at just one? They are, by far, some of the yummiest cookies, I have had the pleasure of tasting.
Apparently, it's all in the technique, along with the recipe, of course. One must hand roll them into large balls and carefully watch them in the oven, until just lightly browned. They stay soft and tall.

Gretchen & Ryan Mack
Thanks for sharing you two. I can tell this recipe is a keeper. Michele was right and I'm glad I followed her advice.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup oil
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons vanilla
2 eggs
12 oz. chocolate morsels

*Ryan reminded me that it's important to mix the dry things together and the wet separately, before combining. Claims that it makes a difference. Ryan knows best.

Roll into a ball with a diameter of about 1-1/2 ". Place on cookie sheet without pressing down.
Bake at 375 degrees until lightly browned (start checking at 7-8 minutes). Leave on sheet for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Gretchen and Ryan keep theirs in the freezer. My first recipe didn't last that long.

I have two batches in the fridge, ready to be baked for the family reunion - one with milk chocolate chips and the other with white chocolate and macadamia nuts. I'll have plenty of fresh coffee and lots of milk to share as well.


Hot off the press...

This just in: Collin passed the National Registry test for his EMT class.
He is now free to work for the local ambulance company as a driver, and this also meets a requirement for applying for the fire academy this winter. Way to go Collin! Wooooohooooo!

Girl's Night Out

If you must know, we call ourselves the Hungry Heifers. At the time of the 'naming' we were unaware that a 'heifer' was a young cow that had not borne a calf. We just knew that we loved to get together, gab, EAT, and let our many children play together. The name stuck.

Standing: Tammy, Kellye, Teri Seated: Kelly, Tracie, Tracie, Terri
I think we've been doing this for 16 or 17 years. All of us have known each other since the 60's, having grown up in the same neighborhood or through school. Others have popped in to play as well. Between the seven of us, there are twenty-two kids. Most are grown now, but that doesn't stop us from reuniting and picking up where we left off.



This trumpet vine is commanding your attention. It should, in fact, be a touch embarrassed that these are the only blossoms it's sporting. Thought I'd get proof before the deer come through.
I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Sun, soil, water, food? Three different plants in three different locations, and this is the reward. Maybe it's like a few other plants around here...I'm trying too hard; some thrive on neglect.


Seems like yesterday...

Well, almost. Phillip turned 23 today. Look how my baby has grown up! Where did his Hawaiian shorts, with his gray, plastic cowboy boots go? I just know he would be riding down our old steep driveway, on his red tractor, if he still had the chance.
He's still as crazy as ever. I'm thinking this must be the way firefighters blow out their candles.
Happy Birthday, my boy - I love you!


While the cat's away...

...the mice will play; and that we did. Meredith, Terri, and I went to Kellye's house to vacation for the afternoon, while she was away in Palm Springs. Pretended like we owned the place. (Look at the spectacular paint job by two certain painters, that shall remain nameless.)
Check out this view from the house. Not only is the yard a gardener's dream, the vineyard is beautiful and from another angle you can see the valley. Off to the right, away from the house and pool, is a winery that fits in with the whole lovely theme. (Another friend, Todd B., built it.)
It's always fun going to Kellye's, especially when she's there. Great hostess, funny sense of humor, and a wonderful friend - not to mention her plentiful snack drawer.


Is there a doctor in the house?

That's affirmative. I recently purchased a NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) from the 80's on eBay, along with some games...rather cheap. Years ago, I would stay up late, after the kids were in bed and play this game. All that practice made me pretty good; in fact I beat it. The boys weren't impressed with me then, but they are now. Just so you know, I still reign as champion.
(I can't play any of the new game systems - they have too much motion and make me feel carsick.)


I love these colors.

Years ago, these two were planted side by side. I deliberately wanted the yellow butterfly bush to stand out next to the flowering plum tree - a great looking contrast.


Wacky Weather

When it's only 61 degrees and sprinkling outside, in the middle of summer, there's only one thing to do: make cookies. I probably shouldn't admit it, but I like the dough better than the finished product. The fear of getting salmonella doesn't stop me. (Why is it called that? It doesn't come from fish.) I sense a food advisory coming from someone.
I usually use the Tollhouse recipe, no matter what kind of chocolate chips I have. My family prefers milk chocolate. One question - why do they sometimes turn out flat and other times fluffy? I chilled it before baking. Maybe I should add more flour or try another recipe. Suggestions?


What gives?

Any other suggestions as to what to do with bananas that refuse to ripen? Twice in the last month I've had this problem. I guess I purchase organic bananas for the sole purpose of replenishing my compost pile.

I did NOT grow this.

I crocheted this bath mitt with hemp. The pattern called for aloo yarn that I couldn't find locally, and the young lady that helped me thought this would have the same rough texture. (Nice for a little exfoliating.) She also assured me that the color wouldn't 'bleed'. If you don't know what a 'bath mitt' is, it's something you can use in the bath or shower, as a washcloth. In the space between, you can use with your hand inside, or as I have done, place a nice smelling bar of soap and give as a gift.
I'd give the original instructions, but I changed a few too many things. Here you go, if you're interested:
any type of rough feeling yarn - aloo, hemp, linen
10 mm afghan hook
size G crochet hook
Ch 16. Work Tunisian Crochet, alternating one forward row and one reverse row, until piece measures 11 3/4" from beginning. Fasten off.

Tunisian Crochet:
Foundation Row (pick up sts): Insert afghan hook through top loop of second ch from hook, yarn over and draw through a loop (2 sts on hook). *Insert hook into top loop of next st and draw a loop through, leaving it on the hook. Repeat from *, drawing 1 loop through each st, and leaving all loops on hook.

Reverse Row (complete the stitch)
: Yarn over and draw a loop through the first loop on hook to create 1 turning chain and bring hook up to the level of the next row. * Yarn over and bring the hook through 2 sts. Repeat from * to end of row, working from left to right and binding off 1 st each time you draw a loop through 2 loops on hook, ending with 1 loop on hook (counts as the first st of the next row).

Forward row (pick up sts)
: *Bring hook from right to left under the first vertical bar created by the first two rows and draw a loop through, leaving it on the hook. Repeat from * to end of row, drawing up a loop from under the last vertical strand. Work a Forward Row followed by a Reverse Row for a pattern.

Once you've reached the 11 3/4" bind off. Fold in 1/2 lengthwise, with the right sides together.
Stitch both side seams with a tapestry needle threaded with the yarn. Good time to slip those loose ends in the seam. Use size G crochet hook to single crochet around the perimeter. Bind off. Chain a length long enough for a drawstring. Weave it through the stitches, about 1/4" from the top. Tie ends together.

I got the idea from the book 'Oneskein'. It has 30 projects to knit and crochet that only take one skein to complete. Found it at the public library.

I love projects that can be completed in an evening. If I lose interest in that amount of time, I'm in BIG trouble.


Do you see what I see?

Take a close look:Here's a hint:
Why is it that once you see something, you can't not see it every time it comes into view? There's also those eyes in the wood trim, that watch me in the 'ladies room', and the mold in the shape of the big dipper above my shower.
Should I take the tree as a sign to go over the hill to do a little gambling? Or does it mean that it's time to repaint the bathroom?


Very Hungry Caterpillars

Here's my weeping cherry tree. At first glance, I thought the deer had been through, until it dawned on me that they don't have necks like a giraffe. Everything eaten was higher than their grazing level. Closer inspection revealed a couple of fat, juicy caterpillars and their siblings.
Tom was so brave to hand pick these ravenous red-humped caterpillars off the branches.

The woman at the nursery said, "Kill 'em." They're capable of doing a lot of damage. Options would be to remove them as Tom did, or spray with Spinosad. We're doing both.


Take a wok on the wild side.

It's all about the method. My parents showed me years ago how to make popcorn in the wok. Needs absolutely no shaking. Put the oil and popcorn in, turn up the heat, and let her go.
Tim and Michele shared their secret recipe with us around the same time. Sprinkle with Vege-Sal and nutritional yeast (found at health food stores). Enjoy.


Collin was concerned.

He pulled me aside and pointed to a sticky note I had put on the fridge - 'go online for weed' . Did he think I could find a connection that way? Time for intervention? In reality, it was a reminder for me to enter my 6'10" weed in the county fair.I've been a little lax in my garden clean up, and now it may pay off. Rumor has it, first place rakes in $5.00. Jeff P. says he can hook me up with some abalone guts that will work wonders, if he can share in the glory. I think I can split the money, but I get the ribbon.


Felted Pillow Top

I don't know if I'm more excited that I have a new pillow or the fact that I've finished a project I started last September. This was my second attempt to knit something. The first was a scarf and both were done with the basic knit stitch. Very easy. Can't remember how many stitches were cast on -a lot. I used black wool yarn and a thin one that had flecks of color every few inches. It was enormous before I washed it about five times. Good thing it didn't have to be a certain size because it didn't come out square like I thought it would.
Here's a close up - lots of fun colors.
I made a custom pillow form since it was such an unusual size. Instead of using fabric, I made it out of batting and stuffed it. Came out very smooth, not lumpy.
Maybe now I can justify starting a new project. Let me see....


Do you have Mike's number?

I'm thinking he's my only hope to get rid of something I planted about three years ago.
This is Oriental Limelight Artemisia. Memorize it. NEVER plant this, unless you have about 37 acres, or have a nice big pot. The first couple of years it looked nice - really full. The third year I started ripping it out. I'll never be OLA free. It's popping up over five feet from the original spot.
Lesson learned: Read pot labels carefully, and believe it.


Happy Birthday Pa!

My father-in-law turns 80 today. We were fortunate to have all twelve children in attendance for his celebration recently. He's as active, funny, loving, and generous as ever. This picture is a bit small to see him clearly, but many have said over the years that he strongly resembles Paul Newman. All kids take after their father, in more ways than one. Quite an attractive bunch, wouldn't you say?
Left to right: Steve, Sandy, Larry, Patti, Randy, Tim, Tom, KK, Bobby, Barbie, David, Brian. Center front: Birthday Boy


Counting down...

Only 184 crafting days 'til Christmas. Looking at this tree skirt would appear that I'm really together, right? Wrong. Started this last fall and just finished it. It was simple to make, just a little time consuming. (Not to mention the fact that I forgot about it.)

  • plain felt tree skirt - I got mine from Ben Franklin. It may have had some trim on it that I removed.
  • green ribbon - enough to go around the circumference - Attach with glue gun or fabric glue.
  • gold sequin trim - same amount as the ribbon - Glue on top the ribbon.
  • gold beads - round ones for the center of the star shape and long ones for the other part. These were sewn one. You could try gluing them - I was afraid too much would ooze out and show.